Have you heard about THE BIG CANADIAN QUILT BEE?  If not, listen up…….we need your help…… Our national quilting organization: The Canadian Quilters Association/ ACC has decided to really celebrate Canada’s 150th birthday with an awesome charity endeavour. CQA/ACC is aiming to be able to donate 1000 quilts to Ronald MacDonald Houses across Canada. 

A rather lovely article has just been published about this project on the Quilts Inc website (Quilts Inc is the organization which produces Quilt Market and Festival in Houston and several other large quilt shows in the USA).  Please read all about Canada’s 150th  and the Big Quilt bee here. 

In addition, pics and reports about the making of these 12 or 24 block slab quilts is all over Facebook, and many other quilting related blogs, Facebook pages and websites. Quilts and quilt tops are pouring in from all over Canada as well from the USA and further afield. It is just too exciting! The Big Quilt Bee has gained traction and is now gathering momentum as Quilt Canada 2017 in June as well as the big official 1st July Canada Day approaches.

Janome is one of the sponsors of the BIG QUILT BEE.  We currently have almost 20 quilt tops here in our Janome office to sandwich, quilt and bind to add to those quilts which will find their way into rooms at Ronald MacDonald Houses to cheer sick kids and their families across Canada. Now we do need to add that we did not personally piece all these quilt tops.  Liz made one 24 slab block quilt top back last October on the Thanksgiving weekend and she thanks the CQA/ACC president, Leslie Whitby who quilted it for Liz.

These quilt tops were donated by quilters in the Fraser Valley of BC.  We believe they handed them in to the CQA/ACC booth at the Abbotsford show last month and we were  given the honours to do the sandwiching & quilting.  Let the quilting begin……..  The plan is to do some Acufeed Flex/ walking foot quilting, some Acufil quilting ( our unique system of using the Janome embroidery machine do the quilting) as well as some free motion quilting. A fun quilting time ahead for sure.

Here are 2 sandwiched and ready for quilting with the big roll of donated batting lying on the floor in front of them. Thank you to N Jeffersons for the batting.

And here are the rest waiting to be sandwiched and quilted. I think most of these quilt tops came from the Abbotsford Quilters Guild, BC but I may be incorrect about this. Hope not? Whoever made them…..THANK YOU you, they are just lovely: bright and cheerful quilt tops.

This bee hive shows the number of quilts currently handed in to CQA/ACC. The number is rising and is updated every so often. YOU CAN HELP CQA/ACC REACH THE GOAL OF 1000 QUILTS.

Have you caught the BIG QUILT BEE fever yet? We sure hope so as it is the very loveliest type of fever to catch! Check out this website for more information about how you can become involved. 



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We shine the spotlight on our Janome Canada Artisan: Cynthia Frenette

Cynthia with her Janome Horizon MC8200

Cynthia has been working with Janome Canada for a while and I know that many of you have seen some of her work firsthand as we carried some of Cynthia’s lovely Maker Series items around to show you at shows and Janome events since last Fall 2016. Cynthia lives in Beautiful BC and you are most welcome to check out her creativity on Instagram  or on her website.  Cynthia is a very creative lady who not only quilts but also designs fabric for Robert Kaufmann Fabrics and operates a Design/Graphics business as well.  Janome is proud to be associated with Cynthia.

You might remember this quilt above from some years ago – in 2012 to be precise – ” Mr Crow ” made by Cynthia which was the FIRST place winner in a Janome quilt competition we held here in Canada. 

We also mentioned Cynthia in a Book review we did on janomelife in June 2016 : Cheryl Arkison of Calgary, Alberta collated a rather nice collection of quilt artists and Cynthia was one of the quilters who is featured in this book with her “bacon” quilt.  The book was called “You inspire me to quilt”

Cynthia’s “bacon” quilt                      Pic courtesy of C&T Publishing

More recently was the simply lovely quilt and pillow below which Cynthia made for the Janome Maker series of machines and our Maker Look Book.  See pages 3-6 for Cynthia’s contributions to this Look Book. I’m sure many of you will recognize these pieces from when we displayed them at shows around Canada or we held them up for you to admire at Janome Dealer events over the last 6-8 months. Cynthia designed the quilt in keeping with the colourful logo on the Maker series of machines (see below for machine pics).

The Mod Pods Pillow, by Cynthia Frenette for Janome

And here is another quilt Cynthia made : Good Friends and Glitter

Our great Janome Maker series of machines + the Limited Edition Canada 150 model featured below. All are now available and in stock in Canada. Ask your local Janome dealer today to show you why these are such a great addition to your sewing room. 

Isn’t this machine just pretty and perfect for commemorating Canada’s 150th AND sewing at the same time?? It comes standard with a quilting table, quilting kit, Ditch quilting foot and that ever so cute little pin cushion on the top of the machine!! Ask your local Janome Canada dealer today for more information.

And keep watching janomelife and more…….Cynthia is currently working on another  project to inspire you……. Coming this summer………. Bet you can’t wait to see WHAT’S NEXT  with Janome!


Posted in Janome Artisan, Janome creativity | Tagged , , , , | 1 Comment


Happy Easter Monday! Cute bunny over at Thread Riding Hood. Sherri is one of our Janome Artisans in Canada. She has just published a great blog post with very good information with step-by-step instructions of how to use your Janome embroidery machine to do your quilting.……letting the embroidery unit and hoop do the work of quilting. Aaahhh…….what a way to lighten the load and get the job done quickly and perfectly using Janome AcuDesign App and Janome embroidery! You may wish to check it out.

Sherri is using the Janome Skyline S9 sewing and embroidery combo machine but this same technique can be achieved easily on all of our Janome embroidery machines. Some models have a dedicated hoop for this: the Acufil Quilting hoops (MC11000; MC12000; MC15000, MC500E).

Have you tried quilting with your embroidery hoop?? Perhaps you’d like to share some of your Janome machine embroidery quilting successes on our comment forum? We’d love to hear from you.

Posted in Janome Embroidery, Janome Quilt | Tagged , , , , | 6 Comments



International Centre, Entrance 1
6900 Airport Rd, Mississauga, ON Canada L4V 1E8
with free parking!


Get in early at 9am with advance tickets and e-tickets

Friday, April 28 – 10:00am to 6:00pm
Saturday, April 29 – 10:00am to 5:00pm

And, of course, Janome will be there!

This was a pic from last time…..what will our booth look like this time? Ooooo……you need to come to the show to see!

And check out our janomelife post on Easter Monday showing what can be done with this incredible Janome Skyline S9? …….we think you need to come to the show for a chance to win this machine!!!!

Liz will be teaching 2 classes on the Fashion Arts Stage: Serger Magic 101 on Friday at 2.30pm and Serger Magic 201 on saturday at 10.30am. Check out this link for more details.  on page 1 & 2 of this PDF link. 


Posted in CreativFestival, JANOME SEWING SHOW | Tagged , , | 1 Comment


We have mentioned the great website SEW4HOME  many times on janomelife. And today just lookie what popped into my inbox today:

Our very own Education Coordinator at Janome America, Nancy Fiedler,  provided this information to SEW4HOME  about how to turn corners using decorative stitches. It is well written and most helpful. You may think so too….hop on over to SEW4HOME and check it out!

Posted in Decorative stitches | Tagged , , , | 1 Comment

Spring Sewing

The temps here in Winnipeg have finally started to be consistently above the zero degree mark! That means several things here: 1) it’s shorts weather (ha! maybe not for me but I’m seeing a lot of people who think this is true!); 2) it’s time for some spring-themed sewing.


I dove right in to making this cute little organizer recently. The flowery fabric makes me think of gardening and getting outdoors (although that’s still a bit of ways off as the ground here is still frozen for the most part). And anything that helps me be more organized is always fun in my books!

Make an “Anything Organizer” on the Fly

This will be a make-up organizer for me but it can essentially be used for anything where there are bits and pieces that need their own containment system.

I’ll explain a bit about the basic premise of this project incase you’re inspired for a little spring sewing as well! But this is one of those customize-as-you-go projects.


This project started with two main pieces – an exterior and interior piece – and a lightweight batting. For this project my main pieces were cut 13 inches by 19 inches.


Envision the tri-fold bag divided into three sections. When placing pockets, leave room to fold up the finished bag without catching the pockets.

Pockets were measured out according to various needs. When folded, this organizer has three sections – so I tried to keep that in mind as I created my pockets.

Each pocket consists of two pieces, sewn right sides together and then turned right-sides out and pressed.


For a little extra finish, I rounded the corners on the pockets.

Practice your Favourite Techniques, Or Tackle Something New

There are all sorts of options for pocket closures. I opted for one zippered pocket and one button closure.



Once all the pockets were prepared, the next step was to top stitch the pieces to the interior fabric and batting.


Interior and exterior pieces are then placed right sides together and sewn around all four sides except to leave a two inch opening at the top, right in the middle, to turn right sides out.

Before the organizer was top stitched on all four sides, I made a small loop using a two inch piece of fabric folding like binding and pinned in-between the open section.


Now – fill and organize!


Do your fabric choices change with the season? What projects are currently on your sewing table? What’s on your spring sewing to-do list?

Posted in Janome Sewing Machine | Tagged , , , , , | 2 Comments


Kim Jamieson-Hirst of Chatterbox Quilts ( is a Janome artisan and YouTube creator sharing quilting and fabric information each week on her channel ( For more information, and education, join the Chatterbox Quilts’ Facebook group

Last month (see janomelife 22 February)  Kim created a simple spring appliqué project using the Janome Artistic Edge 15 Digital cutter and the Memory Craft 500E. The appliqué pieces were cut using the Janome Artistic Edge and then their edges were finished using the Janome Memory Craft 500E.

Here’s a more detailed look at how she created that project using the SimpleCut software that is included with the Janome Artistic Edge 15 digital cutter.
When doing a project like this, you need to create three files:
1. The original file
2. A cut file for use with the Janome Artistic Edge 15 Digital cutter
3. An embroidery file for use with the Janome Memory Craft 500E or other embroidery machine.
I started by creating my original file. To do this, I created a new file and, under “Tools”, chose “Insert Symbol”.

Under “Wingdings” I chose a flower design and clicked “Insert”. Psst! You can actually find interesting designs in the Symbols area, so take a look there for design inspiration.

I dragged my cursor out to create the desired size of my first flower. After closing the “Insert Symbol” menu, I copied this flower and pasted it two more times into my project for a total of three identical flowers. To make things a bit more interesting, I adjusted the width of one flower and the length of another.

I selected a flower, chose a colour fill for it from the “Palette” menu and then repeated this process, using a different colour, for each of the flowers. I moved them around until I was satisfied with my design. I selected all of the flowers and added an outline around each of them (I chose black to keep it simple). Shapes need to have an outline around them so you can add stitches to them: no outline, no stitches!

In the fill area (bucket icon) in Object Properties, I checked “Appliqué” and “Fabric Trim” in which area I chose “Pre-cut”.

I then selected the “Cutter presets” based on the type of fabric preparation I was going to use (Fabric backed with Fusible Webbing).

Once I decided on the final design, I saved the file by an easily recognizable name and this was my original file. I then needed to create the cut file to use with the Janome Artistic Edge so that it could cut out the flower shapes.
I created the cut file by opening the original file and saving it as the same name with the addition of the word “cut”. For this file I chose “Cut” under the Outline area in Object Properties. The Cutter presets remained the same as my original file.

To create the embroidery file which would be exported via USB memory stick to the Janome Memory Craft 500E, I saved the original file again with the addition of the word “embroidery” or “emb”. Rather than choosing “Cut” under the Outline area in Object Properties, I selected the desired appliqué shape and then chose one of the hundreds of stitches available in the Running Stitch or Satin Stitch categories for that shape.

For this project I chose different stitches for each of the appliqué shapes. Once I was satisfied with my stitch selections, I saved this embroidery file in a *JEF format (the Janome embroidery format) in the “Save as type” area.

I used the “Cut” file to cut out all the appliqué shapes on my Janome Artistic Edge. I uploaded the “Embroidery” file to the Janome Memory Craft 500E and stitched out the appliqué outlines, which showed me where to fuse the appliqué shapes. I was then able to “ask” the Janome 500E to finish he appliqué edges with the pre-determined stitches. The ability of the Janome Memory Craft 500E to adjust the needle position by teeny, tiny jumps was really helpful in positioning the needle exactly where I wanted the stitches to be placed on the appliqué pieces. I decided to use white thread for all of the stitching, which kept thread changes to a minimum (none at all!) and was really pleased by the final outcome.
While the project is now in an embroidery hoop – a hand one, not a machine one – I can always take it out, add some borders, and make it into a mini quilt.

I’ll then be able to quilt this project on my Janome Horizon Memory Craft 8900 QCP in no time. Loving how all my Janome machines work in perfect harmony!
Kim Jamieson-Hirst

Posted in Artistic Edge 15 Digital Cutter, Janome Life Guest Post | Tagged , , , , , , | Leave a comment



Many of you will know Linda from our Janome Canada Toronto office and The Shopping Channel. Linda is now running The Sewing Cafe full time together with her partner, Anna. Lucky for us, she made this great Acufil quilting sample before she recently moved on to concentrate on her store.

Now, I know, it does not look much like a quilt, but I can tell you……it is just as warm & toasty as a quilt. I discovered this recently when I left my coat at a dealer’s store on Vancouver Island and then got freezing cold on the ferry traveling back to Vancouver when I needed my coat and realized it was not with me. Ugh!  However, I remembered this jacket Linda had made and pulled it out of one of the roller totes of samples I had in the trunk of my car. Instant warmth……. sigh with relief!  Thank you Linda for saving me from hypothermia as well as for making this great sample!

So what Linda appears to have done is fuse or glue a layer of plaid flannel to a layer of fleece and then acufil quilting the yardage. She then cut out the pattern pieces and sewed it all up into the jacket/thick shirt.

So what Linda appears to have done is fuse or glue a layer of plaid flannel to a layer of fleece and then covered the yardage edge to edge with  acufil quilting  – just the same as you would do if you were quilting a quilt.  She then cut out the pattern pieces from this quilted yardage and sewed it all up into the jacket/thick shirt.

Linda chose to use all over stippling for the Acufil quilting on this project but this is only 1 part of Acufil quilting. You can pretty much use any digitized quilting design that floats your boat…….are the wheels turning in your imagination?? SEW much we can do if we think out of the box.

Piece detail of fleece underthe collar

Nice detail of fleece under the collar

Inside seams were serged to neaten.

Inside seams were serged to neaten.

I did not think of using Acufil Quilting in this way at all. Did you? I thought I would share this with you as it is so unique and mighty warm too – much appreciated in this crazy snowy winter Vancouver has been having.

Want to know more about what Janome Acufil Quilting is?


Posted in ACUFIL QUILTING SYSTEM | Tagged , , , , | 1 Comment


The sewing show in Abbotsford is almsot upon us.  And it has a name change too: It is now called the CREATIV FESTIVAL WEST 




It is all about sergers in my classes this year in Abbotsford! 1100d-01 2000cpx-01




I will be spening most of my time on our Janome booth where I will be happy to answer your many and varied questions as well as show you why Janome is such a top selling brand!  Langley Vacuum & Sewing, Toms Sewing Machines and Toews Music & Sewing will be on the booth as well as myself + Yvonne Menear, our new Janome Educator.  Please come visit us just inside the main entrance and to the right on the show floor.


I will be focussing on our Janome embroidery models on the booth - come an see what I am busy with!



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To differentiate the following functions of the V5 of Janome Digitizer MBX, here are two simple exercises to practice.

In the Toolbox, there is the < layout > tab and on the menu drop-down is:

  • Arrangement of circle : duplicate objects selected around a central point.
  • Copy in a circle : Automatically create copies of selected items around the center of the workspace.

soniaFineLinensCorner – SS. EMB

For these two exercises,  we will use a design built into the Digitizer MBX V5.0P

Here is how to do the exercise with ‘Circle Layout’ function:

  1. Select the pattern ‘soniaFineLinensCorner – SS.EMB’

2 Hide the hoop by clicking the appropriate icon

3 Ungroup > remove the yellow and purple straight stitching lines

4 Select the pattern > Edit all > Group

5 Reduce the size by 20%

6 Click on layout >  specify the number of duplications required in the toolbar

7 Move the mouse to position the designs both horizontally and vertically.  ‘Do you want to merge objects that overlap?’ > Click  YES

8 Select the largest embroidery hoop > example SQ23

9 Adjust the size > rotate if necessary > Auto Center the design.

10 Output the drawing > save according to your machine model and hoop.

11 Choice: Save drawing under (EMB) or export drawing (JEF)

12 Capture the image of the drawing > OK

13 File > print preview > print it now

14 The edited design  is now ready to be embroidered.


Layout in 6 circles

Here is how to do the second exercise:  ‘copy in a circle’:

  1. Select the pattern ‘soniaFineLinensCorner – SS.EMB’

2 Hide the hoop by clicking the appropriate icon

3 Ungroup > remove the yellow and purple straight lines

4 Select the design > edit select all >  group

5 Display > work area >circle layout

6 Set (metric) workspace > Rectangle: width 228 X height 298  > OK

7 Rotate  right 45º > resize – 10% smaller > position design down to the center of the green rectangle 3




8.Duplicate 8 circles < ‘Do you want to merge objects overlapping’ > YES  4



9. Adjust the size of the two sides so that they are completely in the green space that represents the GR hoop (as in this photo)5


10. Output the drawing > save depending on themodel and hoop of your machine

11. Choice: Save the drawing under (EMB) or export drawing (JEF)

12.  Capture image of drawing  > OK

13 File > print preview > print now

14. Edited design is now ready to be embroidered.


Duplicated into 8 circles


Practice makes perfect!

Thank you to Celine for this post on Vie Janome which we translated and edited for janomelife.



Posted in JANOME EMBROIDERY SOFTWARE | Tagged , , , , | 5 Comments